Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is teaming up with ESPN and interactive TV technology vendor Ensequence to let its FiOS TV subscribers access and edit their NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament brackets through their cable remote controls. Customers who access the app by pressing the menu button on their remotes are prompted to enter a user name and password from ESPN.com in order to access their brackets on TV.
ESPN's Tournament Challenge app via Verizon. Click here for the video.
Verizon customers can also navigate ESPN's Tournament Challenge through apps on tablets and mobile phones. The telco has been more aggressive than most of its rivals in offering interactive TV programming to subscribers. In December, Verizon began offering FiOS TV subscribers t-commerce, letting History Channel viewers buy products featured in TV shows with a few clicks of their remote controls. It worked with t-commerce technology supplier Delivery Agent on that app.
With the launch later this year of its X1 advanced digital cable product, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) will likely be able to offer its Xfinity customers apps similar to those distributed by Verizon. While apps such as Tournament Challenge may not prompt a cable subscriber to switch providers, the products could help boost retention efforts.
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